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As a child, I remember my parents singing a blessing known as puja over an offering of fruit. The blessing was during a special ceremony where I was being given a new Mantra, a special word children focus on as they meditate. Children’s meditation consists of focusing while allowing other thoughts or distractions to come and go gracefully. (Grown ups use something called a Sutra, or sentence, with more in depth forms of meditation.) My parents studied Hinduism and read from the Hindu Vedas. The Vedas amazed me. Similar to many printed versions of Christian scripture, the edge of each Veda page was golden. As I looked at the pages, I remember turning them with wonder. I could tell those books were held as treasures by my parents. Their example taught me that things of a spiritual nature were considered sacred.

The leader they followed was a man named Maharishi Mahesh yogi. When I was two, my parents were studying to become transcendental meditation teachers at one of his International Universities in Belgium. I was told that during a parade Maharishi stopped and came over to give me a carnation. As I grew up, my parents would sometimes share their experiences in Belgium with friends and retell that part of the story too. So one day when I was old enough to inquire about it, I asked, “So, what ended up happening to that carnation?” My parents laughed and said, “After the parade continued on, you ate it! You never wanted to let that carnation go!” I suppose I must have thought it was pretty special (and thank goodness it wasn’t poisonous, but safe to eat).

Sometime later, after my parents had finished their training programs, our 27 acre farm became the island’s headquarters for the Hindu philosophy they followed. Being vegetarians, our farm was more like an enormous, organic garden and petting zoo. Large groups of people would come over for potlucks and meditation. I remember our home always felt “like Christmas” on those days. Although “who God was exactly” was anyone’s guess, such an amazing feeling of joy would envelop our home as those striving to harmonize with God united together to celebrate their belief. Looking back, I am grateful for those experiences. My parents didn’t drink or do drugs. It was contrary to the philosophy they practiced. Their examples helped define adulthood for me as an era of being on a wholesome spiritual quest.

As I grew up, I eventually started to search for “my place” on earth. Due to my upbringing, I was blessed to know to hold things of a spiritual nature as sacred, to take care of my health, and that seeking to harmonize and do my best to find God was of top priority. Starting life with spiritual roots seems very important. I know it has helped make my life a truly amazing adventure.

QUESTION:  What is sacred to you?

CHALLENGE:  Take time today to focus on your spiritual side.

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